Op/Ed by Randell Cavin
Each time new technology comes about you can make a sure bet on one thing; the adult industry will find new and innovative ways to use it.
It is not just the adult industry who will find new ways to use the latest technology; it is also the people who view pornography. Namely it is the people who are downloading movies and photos for free, the Internet pirates.
The material production companies and the performers themselves put out on their websites are copyrighted. This material, which includes movies, made for DVD and Blu-ray discs, individual scenes for websites and photos all are protected by copyrights. However this does not stop people from downloading free porn. That is stealing, plain and simple. Whether it is from file-sharing such a torrents or the numerous tube sites that offer free downloads. It is still stealing.
If you download free porn you are taking away revenue from the production companies. It cost those companies $1,000s to produce quality movies. And they are taking a huge hit when people steal their products. But you are not only taking away from their revenue you are also taking away the livelihood of the adult performers.
Will porn piracy ever go away? No, not as long as there are people like Steve Curely.
“I’m a cheap bastard…Why pay when you don’t have to?” Curely said. That is what he told Neal Karlinsky and Arash Ghadishah of ABC Nightline for a story they did at the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. Karlinsky and Ghadishah wrote in their story that the fans are the lifeblood of the industry and they are also part of its biggest problem. It is fans like Steve Curely who are a cancer to the industry.
In the same article, Paul Fishbein, the publisher of Adult Video News, said the business is in trouble because of the technology.
“The very technology that helped bring the business into the 21st century is also killing it,” he said. “It’s hard to sell to certain consumers when they can get stuff for free.”
The industry has taken advantage with every bit of new technology that comes along when it comes to distribution. They used VHS, DVDs, the Internet, and now mobile devices. If you want to view porn then it is readily available. Piracy has followed right along. Before there were DVDs all you had to do was go to your nearest adult video store and rent a VHS tape, take it home and make a copy of it. Then DVDs went on the market. Did that make it harder to make copies? No it did not. Each time new devices went on the market people who are too cheap to legally buy porn found ways to steal it. They are still finding new ways. And the Internet has made it that much simpler for them to steal it.
The production companies are fighting back with lawsuits. If you are stealing porn off of the Internet and think you will never get caught because you are just a small fish in a big pond, you better think again.
In a report by The Daily Beast, published April 2, 2011, John Steele, one of the lawyers working for the adult-film industry said, “For this kind of downloading there are no little guys. Everyone is doing it together.”
Steele and lawyers like him who are working with the adult industry are leading the way in a new crackdown on Internet piracy. They know who you are and they will bring the house down on you.
According to Richard Abowitz, the author of The Daily Beast article, the industry wants you to know that they know exactly who you are. The lawyers could be in court at any time trying to get a hold of your names in many states where mass lawsuits have been filed since this crackdown began in October, 2010.
The adult industry is using the same techniques that the music industry is using. And according to Abowitz the adult industry is using two new tactics; the threat of humiliation of a lawsuit with your name on it for porn piracy. The chances are you will want to settle out of court to keep your name out of the newspapers and news websites. You can pay for your porn the right way, which is the legal way, or you can wait for that lawsuit with your name it. The choice is yours.
The second tactic Abowitz says is the adult-industry lawyers are arguing to judges that they should be allowed to sue thousands of suspected “John Does” simultaneously. Armed with ISP addresses that help them identify exactly which computers porn is being illegally downloaded to. The industry wants to corral them all into one suit, and then give them the option to settle.
“If they are all stealing the same movie and helping each other steal (by sharing files) they are all in it together,” Steele said.
Steele is not the only attorney leading the fight against Internet porn piracy. XBIZ.com’s Lyla Katz in an article she wrote April 28, of this year, says attorney Marc Randazza has a strategy that is paying off.
Randazza has a multi-faceted approach to achieve maximum results for his clients and the adult industry. And his tactic has worked.
According to the article during the past two years, Corbin Fisher, for whom Randazza serves as General Counsel, has seen the availability of its material on pirate sites drop by 70 percent while signups have jumped by 20 percent.
Since April 22 to the time of the article by Katz, Randazza’s firm has filed six BitTorrent suits in California, Wisconsin and Nevada. By assembling a network of lawyers, Randazza said he plans on filing more suits in other states such as North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Michigan and others.
There are three goals Randazza wants to achieve; “The first goal is to do loss prevention and recognize how much my clients are losing and find a way to stem the bleeding,” he said. “The second goal is to create awareness and let people know that there are consequences.
“The third goal is to use the money from litigation proceeds to fund research and development for market-based approaches to the problem.”
Randazza says the money he has recouped for his clients has not only helped stem the tide of loss, but some of the companies have used that money as a seed fund for creating technological solutions, while others have donated to charity.
The adult industry is not trying to come out looking like a bully with these multi-lawsuits. The industry is only trying to recover some of their losses from people who steal from them. It is going to take more, much more than lawsuits and new technology to put a dent in porn piracy. It is going to take people, people like you to stop this. The industry provides you with the pleasure of seeing some of the most beautiful women in the world right in the comfort of your own home. But the more you steal from them the less they will be able to provide. This is their business you are stealing from. It is also taking money away from the performers. They are just like you. They have bills to pay too and they cannot pay their bills if you steal from them. Do the right thing and pay for the movies that you want to watch. The adult performers will thank you and in return give you a better product.